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Day of the Dead Celebration

The Day of the Dead, known as Dia De Los Muertos in Spanish, is a festive holiday practiced heavily in Mexico as well as originating in Mexico. The holiday combines Aztec rituals as well as Catholicism since Catholics also celebrate All Saints Day and All Souls Day. The holiday is November 1st through the 2nd, celebrating the dead and the living through various festivities. November 1st marks the All Saints Day celebration, honoring the Saints of the church. November 2nd marks All Souls Day which is the core of the celebration by honoring all souls that have passed, particularly the friends and family of those who celebrate the holiday. The festivities taking place are associated with giving honor to loved ones who have passed away by presenting the favorite food and drinks of the deceased on a special alter in the household. Loved ones will also travel to the graves of the deceased and clean up the graves as well as putting flowers, food, and sugar skulls on the graves to show appreciation. Sugar skulls will either be left at the altars and/or gravesites as well as eaten by the community. The gravesites themselves will have orange marigold flowers for adults and white orchid flowers placed on graves of children. Throughout the community, you will see a festivity of colorful skulls, Calaveras in Spanish, and skeletons, calacas in Spanish,  in the form of face painting, dolls, and decorations. Skeletons and skulls will be dressed up as well as sold as an acknowledgment for the holiday and as a fun way to celebrate it. Keep in mind that even though this holiday is next to the holiday of Halloween, this celebration has nothing to do with Halloween. It was not originated from Halloween and does have the same traditions. Understand that dressing up as a skeleton to represent the holiday is cultural appropriation if you are not a part of this specific culture and/or have not been properly educated on the cultural holiday. Please be mindful that this is a special and meaningful celebration that should be celebrated properly. Understanding the holiday and appreciating what it stands for is one thing but actively participating without being a part of the culture and what it represents is another. This is a beautiful and joyous holiday so be aware of how you dress and what you practice. Dia De Los Muertos is not only meant to honor the dead but it is also meant to acknowledge that death happens and it is natural, so we should not be afraid of death but more so accept it through remembering those you love and enjoying your life now. The event is meant to be a joyous occasion with happy memories and laughter so the passed loved ones can enjoy this special occasion as well.

-hcxo

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